The colourful transparent
shards of tail lamps are to be found everywhere, swept to the margins, across
Europe’s highway network. They bear witness to the extreme mechanical stresses
to which the lamps are exposed. Potholes, vibration, extreme temperatures and
shunts when parking take their toll on lamp housings. Regularly broken as a
result, they re-appear as microplastics at the edges of roads and in sewers.
It’s no wonder, therefore,
that lamp housings – usually made of inexpensive ABS or PMMA acrylic – have to
be renewed practically every year during the trailer’s lifetime. Cut-price
lamps in particular, however, can quickly erode budgets. Over a period of five
years, the cost of repairs and downtimes can easily amount to well in excess of
200 euros. On top of that, transport companies can also incur substantial fines
for operating vehicles with defective lamps or light sources.
The secret of the new Ermax
LED tail lamps from BPM Group lies in a design that is so rugged it withstands
targeted hammer blows. The LED light sources are protected inside a housing
made of polycarbonate, which is by far the best-performing thermoplastic on the
market. Measured against the acrylics that are conventionally used in the
automotive industry, and ABS, polycarbonate offers 17 times greater impact
resistance alongside an optical quality that exceeds the brilliance of glass.
Its key benefit, however, is its ability more readily to withstand both the
permanent mechanical stresses that arise on structurally damaged roads and the
impacts associated with shunts when parking. As every highway maintenance team
knows all too well, the customary standard plastics shatter very easily in
response to knocks and bumps.
“If they compare costs,
transport operators should get the message,” says Torben Pagh, managing
director of Transport-Teknik A/S, which manufactures the Ermax lamps. “The new
tail lamps reflect BPW Group’s strategy of generating tangible cost benefits
over the trailer’s lifetime. The gains achievable across all components – from
the running gear and body engineering to the lighting and telematics – can give
vehicle operators a massive competitive advantage,” noted Pagh.
The new “hammer-proof” Ermax
lamps are available in a wide variety of formats for both the original
equipment sector and the aftermarket, and manufacturers have various options
for design coordination with an existing brand identity.
Source: IAA COMMERCIAL VEHICLES 2018